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idesign123

Palm Addiction fueled by lack of availability (of large sizes)

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idesign123

Now that I've amassed a huge collection of palms (mostly small ones in pots, but several larger ones), I've taken a moment to ask myself what initially triggered the madness :yay:

And I realized that (for me) it was the difficulty in obtaining palms at large sizes that was the initial trigger... fueled by the relatively low cost of young specimens (if you go with an inexpensive supplier like Floribunda). For me the "gateway palm" was Dypsis leptocheilos ("Teddy Bear"). I had removed many Queen Palms, and posted on Palmtalk a question of what to replace them with. Fifty or so suggestions later,  I decided on a Teddy Bear for the most prominent spot, and tried really hard to find a big one! I heard there was a huge one for $1000 in Orange County, and scoffed at the price, but later learned it sold for that price (and quickly too). I eventually found a 15 gallon one for $185 locally,  And happily snagged it. 

Now that I had one young palm I then asked myself "What else should I start growing, since I'm going to need to invest 5-10 years to get this one to a decent size?"  I bought a few more small palms from Jungle Music, then got some great snags from local palm sellers (like Joe at Discovery & Josh at Fairview). I also invested in a few larger specimens from Rancho Soledad (including two very tall flamethrowers... though they didn't carry a lot of the more rare stuff). Last step was to put in a Floribunda order... and I decided to get ALL the ones I didn't have yet!!! Ok, not really all of them, but a got a ton, as it wasn't a big financial commitment at $15 each. Going down their availability list, I would look up each name on Google Images, run it through the "Palms for California" website, and read lots of threads about it on Palmtalk. If my conclusion is that it *might* look amazing in my area, I then added it to my shopping list (sometimes in multiples). Many of my palms already have a designated spot in my yard, but others fit into the category of "I'm going to stick you here for now and find a place for you if you start getting interesting."  I figure I can eventually sell or trade any extra palms when the smoke clears... and to the more "iffy" ones I wish them best of luck ("May the odds be ever in your favor").  If they do survive, I'll be able to post my amazing specimen on Palmtalk someday (I obviously won't mention the casualties).

As for the Teddy Bear Palm (my initial quest), I now have two 15 gallons, and NINE "baby bears" in pots. I also hunted down an elusive "Tri-Bear" hybrid (half leptocheilos, and more beefy)... so now I have a "Daddy Bear" (Tri-Bear), "Momma Bear" & nine "Baby Bears". What am I going to do with them all? "Daddy Bear" and one of the "Momma Bears" are already planted in the backyard, and I have a spot for the other "Momma Bear" in the front yard. I also have a skinny strip for three "Baby Bears" to be planted in a row. As for the other six "baby bears", I'm going to give a couple to family, and who knows... maybe sell the others for $1000 someday (ok, I'm not holding my breath on that one LOL).

My point is... it's the fact that I was told "You absolutely can't have that cool Palm at a large size!" that likely triggered my own addiction. And now when I see new people on the forum innocently ask "Hey, where can I get a box specimen of ____________ (insert extremely rare palm name)" I chuckle to myself, and figure one of two things is going to happen... 1) They're going to get frustrated at the lack of rare palms at large sizes and go back to the Home Depot options... or 2) They'll start buying palms at smaller sizes, place their Floribunda order (or buy from a local seller), and start filling their yards with tiny pots of future awesomeness.  And to the latter I say "Welcome to Palmtalk!"

floribunda.thumb.jpg.92b25085bacccc542d66d035a945e692.jpg

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sonoranfans

Going back to home depot is very limiting.  Ever see a chambeyronia hookeri, Foxy lady, copernicia hospita at the home depot?  Home depot palm selection is based on the cheapest available palms that have acceptable losses while being mistreated in the home depot nursery in your area.  And you will be limited to about 6 species or so, some of which may not like your climate.  Have patience and grow them out.  Before you know it you will be saying it needs to be planted and then it got so big.  Big palms are harder to see from ground level so appreciate those ones that don't grow that fast.  Also palms are mostly happier when planted small in my experience.  Here, I put them into the ground at 5-15 gallons depending on the species.

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aztropic

Another option is to make an outrageous offer for palms you like and see in others yards. I have sold several palms out of my own landscape,when people made offers I could not refuse...

 

aztropic

Mesa, Arizona

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idesign123
39 minutes ago, aztropic said:

Another option is to make an outrageous offer for palms you like and see in others yards. I have sold several palms out of my own landscape,when people made offers I could not refuse...

You have me curious... what is the most expensive mature palm someone has purchased from you? It would be hard to part with a beloved mature palm, but everyone has their price!

As for me, I bought multiples of my favorite palm types for a couple reasons...
1) One of them might croak and I won't feel as bad since I still have another
2) If both grow into amazing specimens I can sell one of them (the one still in a pot). 

The huge difference between what you pay for a small palm vs what a mature specimen *might* fetch someday makes it really tempting to overbuy, but I mostly bought mine primarily for my own enjoyment (and to hedge my bet on possible casualties). But if someone offers me a high enough price I'd likely sell as well (unless it's the Tri-bear... that one is my favorite, and it would take a lot of $ to get me to sell that one).

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Allen

Well you could be addicted to worse things than palms!  Nice plan!

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aztropic
1 hour ago, idesign123 said:

You have me curious... what is the most expensive mature palm someone has purchased from you? It would be hard to part with a beloved mature palm, but everyone has their price.

At the time,I had about 30 Pseudophoenix sargentii I had grown from seed into 3/5 gallon size plants selling for $100 each. A person coming to buy one of those,saw a dozen or more of that species,of all different sizes, planted in my yard. He took a liking to one that would be 25 gallon size and asked if I would sell it.Since I had so many of this species already,I agreed,and we settled on a $700 pricetag.

Others I have dug and sold at similar size include (25 gallon)Copernicia alba, (25 gallon 4 ft wood)Cuban Royals, and (15 gallon) Ravenea xerophylla for $500 each. You might say I gave them away,knowing California prices are much higher,but those were fair prices for my area at the time,for palms I was considering moving anyways.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

Edited by aztropic
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idesign123
1 hour ago, aztropic said:

> You might say I gave them away, knowing California prices are much higher, but those were fair prices for my area at the time, for palms I was considering moving anyways.

Sounds like a win-win if you were considering moving the palms anyway (and had others at a smaller size)!

I can't help but think there should be a market for mature exotic palms, but it's probably just a case of wealthy people not knowing that there are better options out there. I was driving through a very wealthy area for example and marveled at a beautiful estate with huge yard... full of King, Queen & Mexican Fan palms. What a wasted opportunity!

Maybe someday word will get into the wealthy neighborhoods that exotic palms are the way to go (in areas that can support them) and people will start demanding larger specimens. At which point the palmtalkers might start selling parts of their collections (like you did). 

As for me, I was surprised to discover that I enjoy the "growing" side as much as the "owning" side of palm ownership. I thought I just wanted the palms themselves (and the bigger the better)... but was pleasantly surprised to see how enjoyable it is to raise them. I've also discovered that gardening can be very stress relieving. I raised bromeliads initially (and still do), but have really come to love raising exotic palms as well. So I guess it's good I didn't find that mature Teddy palm after all :greenthumb:

Edited by idesign123

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Garcia3

I remember those feelings all too well… the intensity, the frustration, the joy!! Time can be an expensive commodity.  This tread is fantastic and I would just like to add, as someone maybe a little bit further along on their palm journey, that although the impact of a large palm is instant and undeniable, there is something particularly special about watching a seedling or small palm develop into a specimen. It sounds like you are off to great start and I look forward to the progress of the three “Baby Bears”, lol.

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DoomsDave

The journey can be glorious.

 

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aztropic
17 minutes ago, idesign123 said:

Sounds like a win-win if you were considering moving the palms anyway (and had others at a smaller size)!

I can't help but think there should be a market for mature exotic palms

Actually,there is. South Florida is a very palm intensive region,and rare large mature specimens in people's front yards are actively sought after and searched for by palm brokers. FM Ken Johnson is a professional palm relocater down there,and has made a business of growing larger sized material,but also locating and digging rare palms he comes across in people's landscaping for resale.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

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Looking Glass

That’s a lot of bears you ended up with!  Congrats on the Tri-bear score!  

I often ask myself, “what the hell happened?” also.   Early last year we moved into the house, and I decided to get a few palms from Lowe’s for the house.  Now, I’m sticking palms all over the place and tucking pots everywhere, and starting to ask myself if I picked up some sort of mental illness.  

Palms are now in charge of protecting other palms…
A4C84C90-6AF5-4B42-9EAF-84239C13EEF4.thumb.jpeg.35df6d46de3d0f51d47275d5ef3e97c2.jpeg

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The elderly lady next door told me when I started, “don’t worry, they will all grow faster then you think, and pretty soon you’ll be pulling stuff out and wondering what to do with it”. ….  She was right.  Time marches on pretty quickly. 98C543B4-AB56-4CA6-BA1C-9898937FA430.thumb.jpeg.69a7be317326f161d15a173d506899e6.jpeg

Everything seems to grow though,  if you can just get your hands on it and start fertilizing and watering consistently.   I like watching the smaller palms grow.  

But did I really need to grab Baby Deckenia Nobilis a few months ago?   EEC11206-66B2-4011-9B2E-D346DA732EAC.thumb.jpeg.2d8b26e5b8ea9955cc2482c8056d0b5f.jpeg

And why is Berrariophoenix Fenestralis so damn unhappy all the time?   Are you too good for your home???  ANSWER ME!!!45D3DA83-6B82-4102-A719-0706004F5D08.thumb.jpeg.5f6e6ad4968a6e962e8d2f41b83dfb10.jpeg

 

And I still need three good Kentiopsis Oliviformis for that corner of the yard…  I don’t think this ever ends.   

 

 

 

Edited by Looking Glass
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idesign123
1 hour ago, Looking Glass said:

But did I really need to grab Baby Deckenia Nobilis a few months ago?   
... And I still need three good Kentiopsis Oliviformis for that corner of the yard.

I honestly think there's something extremely satisfying about wanting something you can't have... and finally obtaining it. Had I found a mature Teddy palm that first week would I have valued it as much as I do (let alone purchase a large family of "bears")? Probably not. And the Tri-bear is extra special to me at least in part because I thought it was impossible to get one (yet I did... with the help of another Palmtalker).

There's also the idea of a "happy surprise"... something you weren't expecting to own, but stumbled upon. There has to be some sort of psychological factor to it... the thrill of the chase... hopes for the future... and surprise successes (that offset the inevitable losses). Also the satisfaction of increasing your knowledge along with your expanding collection. Less than a year ago I hardly knew the difference between a King & Queen palm, and am now rattling off latin names like a champ. I also get the jokes now.*

* There was a spam post recently about a razor (which has since been removed) and someone said "I guess that's how coccothrinax crinita 'brevicinis' is made" and I laughed so incredibly hard at that! Then paused to consider the fact that 99.9999999% of the world wouldn't have gotten that joke. The Palmtalk community is both friendly and extremely funny (to me)... something severely lacking in most internet forums.

Another Palmtalker had a post called "Palmtalk and Depression" that I think about sometimes. I truly feel there's a psychological benefit to gardening, and also in finding a community of people with a common interest. And yes, I'm very much enjoying the journey. 

Edited by idesign123
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Looking Glass

How ‘bout some pics of that Tri-bear and the rest of the family?  I put in 3 little Leptos in, what I call “the teddy bros” this year….  They are decent, rewarding, little growers here.  

I love a good, well suited, kind of uncommon palm for some relatively instant gratification.  

March 2021…
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Today on a gloomy, wet day.  

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I’ll keep my eyes peeled for that “happy surprise”, and try to avoid the more common “horribly disappointing predictable palm carnage” that I have grown accustomed to.  (I thought D. Nobilis was about to fall into the later, but it popped a couple of new leaves miraculously)

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idesign123
13 minutes ago, Looking Glass said:

How ‘bout some pics of that Tri-bear and the rest of the family?

 

tribear.thumb.jpg.5bf37a736e82a1995cb7eb4718f88f8e.jpg

I'm going to make a "Yard Progression" thread soon, but here's one teaser photo showing my most developed area, with the newly planted Tri-Bear (center of the photo). Also my Bentinckia condapanna and my largest flamethrower (two of my other favorites).

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And here are my nine baby bears (with a glimpse of the rest of my Floribunda collection). I noticed that the lepto with the most sun exposure is growing much larger than the rest of them, so I'll be reorganizing this area soon to give the other leptos more sun.  These are the types of discoveries that I'm finding enjoyable.

 

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Looking Glass
5 minutes ago, idesign123 said:

 

tribear.thumb.jpg.5bf37a736e82a1995cb7eb4718f88f8e.jpg

I'm going to make a "Yard Progression" thread soon, but here's one teaser photo showing my most developed area, with the newly planted Tri-Bear (center of the photo). Also my Bentinckia condapanna and my largest flamethrower (two of my other favorites).

Wow.  That area looks excellent.  When those young palms gain some size, and I bet they will sooner than you think, it will only get better and better.  Love your use of all the little accent plants and color, and the rock border too.  

Bentinkia will be a real prize in the future too.  I’d love one, but I think they are not overly happy in my climate, from what I’ve heard.  

The Teddies take heavy sun here (it is humid though) even when relative small, but my little flamethrowers are fragile and slower than Pseudophoenix here, and burn like crazy, so I can’t risk much sun for them at their young age yet.  

Your pick reminds me that I have to quit sulking around, and get back to work out there.  Thanks for the inspiration.  

 

 

 

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Jeff Searle
8 hours ago, idesign123 said:

You have me curious... what is the most expensive mature palm someone has purchased from you? It would be hard to part with a beloved mature palm, but everyone has their price!

As for me, I bought multiples of my favorite palm types for a couple reasons...
1) One of them might croak and I won't feel as bad since I still have another
2) If both grow into amazing specimens I can sell one of them (the one still in a pot). 

The huge difference between what you pay for a small palm vs what a mature specimen *might* fetch someday makes it really tempting to overbuy, but I mostly bought mine primarily for my own enjoyment (and to hedge my bet on possible casualties). But if someone offers me a high enough price I'd likely sell as well (unless it's the Tri-bear... that one is my favorite, and it would take a lot of $ to get me to sell that one).

A very large $16,000 Copernicia fallaense. Among a few others too.....

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96720

I wouldn’t sell any of my palms we can’t grow a lot of different ones in Phoenix but I keep trying different ones all the time my job is to kill plants. I only plant small ones to hard to dig big holes in rock but collecting palms are definitely a disease!!

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Tyrone

I agree with you idesign123. Where I live now getting any unusual and not so unusual palm  is impossible. So I now do it myself, but that’s what Ive been doing for over 20 years now. It ensures I have a unique garden and help others do the same along the way. No regrets at all.

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GatoCapa
14 hours ago, aztropic said:

At the time,I had about 30 Pseudophoenix sargentii I had grown from seed into 3/5 gallon size plants selling for $100 each. A person coming to buy one of those,saw a dozen or more of that species,of all different sizes, planted in my yard. He took a liking to one that would be 25 gallon size and asked if I would sell it.Since I had so many of this species already,I agreed,and we settled on a $700 pricetag.

Others I have dug and sold at similar size include (25 gallon)Copernicia alba, (25 gallon 4 ft wood)Cuban Royals, and (15 gallon) Ravenea xerophylla for $500 each. You might say I gave them away,knowing California prices are much higher,but those were fair prices for my area at the time,for palms I was considering moving anyways.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

I’ve got 11 double-strap Buccaneers in a community pot that I’ll separate and pot up this weekend.

How long to get from seedling to a 3 gallon size?

Thanks in advance…

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aztropic

I think your location will make a big difference on how fast Pseudophoenix sargentii will grow. I live in a hot,dry,desert,with cool winters,and it took me about 10 years to get them to 3 gallon size. In a more tropical climate,you might be able to cut that time by at least a third. It is a very slow growing species,regardless,until a trunk is formed. Definitely worth buying the time if you want one in your garden.

 

aztropic

Mesa, Arizona

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LJG

All new SoCal palm addicts suffer from size envy and the determination to get the biggest possible. All old, sorry, experienced palm addicts only want small. Why? A quote from Ursula K. Le Guin helps-

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

I was terrible about buying large. My first years I purchased some of the ugliest palms because they were big. Hint: most don’t grow out of their early, poorly-grown blemishes. I hated going to gardens and seeing beautiful specimens and coming home and comparing to my skinny ass palm I planted that was stuck in a 15 gallon for 10 years. I believe I have now ripped out every early, already-trunking palm purchase I made. Some died. Some I planted smaller had passed similar ones planted large in size or smaller planted palms of the same species were already way more beautiful. Sure, there are exceptions for me nowdays. I always look for the largest of the super slow-growing palms I can find. For example, many Copernicia’s and Cocothrinax are so slow you won’t be able to fully appreciate them in a lifetime in SoCal. But past that, I either grow from seed or buy small from Marcus or other sellers. 

I get a lot of visitors to my garden (that pic of the two Licuala you showed in another thread are mine) and inevitably I get asked most the time from younger palm people for some advice. “Enjoy small, because time goes by so fast”. Many of the palms you are planting small now will be overhead in the not to distant future. 

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idesign123
50 minutes ago, LJG said:

I get a lot of visitors to my garden (that pic of the two Licuala you showed in another thread are mine)...

Oh yes, I've learned TON from reading your blog! (croton propagation tips for one). Thank you so much for sharing your experience & insights with us newbies! And yes, I'm indeed hoping my licualas might look as amazing as yours someday... but will try to enjoy the journey. (and not buy anymore large but scrawny palms)... wise advice. I do enjoy the few "instant gratification" palms I've bought, but suspect that (like you) my favorites will be the ones I grew myself.

* I would absolutely love to visit your garden sometime! I've studied pictures and find it very inspiring. If you're ever having a "palm/bromeliad/hibiscus/whatever" open house and could PM me an invite I would be very honored to come by (and would be happy to bring a nice bromeliad pup as an offering).

Edited by idesign123

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Tracy
1 hour ago, LJG said:

Some I planted smaller had passed similar ones planted large in size or smaller planted palms of the same species were already way more beautiful. Sure, there are exceptions for me nowdays. I always look for the largest of the super slow-growing palms I can find. For example, many Copernicia’s and Cocothrinax are so slow you won’t be able to fully appreciate them in a lifetime in SoCal. But past that, I either grow from seed or buy small from Marcus or other sellers. 

I think there is a balance to be had between "small" and trunking in a pot for even some of the medium speed growing palms, albeit less so for fast species.  Buying a healthy 3-5 gallon plant can save a lot of time if you are willing to spend more than for a 1 gallon and its probably less susceptible to trauma its first winter in the ground too...  but the price differential is the glitch for some people.  Some people don't get the time is money aspect.  Local growers like Phil at Jungle Music, Josh at Fairview, Discovery Island, Rancho Soledad, etc. have some plants die that they have been growing, watering and fertilizing (investing money in) for time before the few large ones that they actually sell.  They have land or rent costs, insurance costs, which all have to be factored into pricing plants that aren't seedlings.  As we know, most of the species don't grow as fast in this climate as in Southern Florida, Hawaii, or north eastern Australia, so all the inputs into getting a plant to size are greater.  Given the limited market for people willing to pay large sums for plants that are dug it isn't surprising that there aren't a lot of people growing plants in ground to large sizes of exotic species.  There is the further risk of loss in transplanting.  As you point out, the other option of growing them in pots forever to large sizes can result in rootbound and otherwise unappealing specimens of the species.  So there is a reason there aren't a lot of large palms available.  As Jeff Searle pointed out the really slow desirable species like Copernicia fallensis that do come on the market from longtime garden plantings command a price that only serious palm collectors with lots of resources (money) will buy.   As a consequence, its not surprising that there aren't a lot of nice 5, 7 or even 15 gallon plants of the rarer species available here locally, and it's predominantly the faster growing species in those sizes that are available.

The other consideration is how short a time some of the species have been available.  Just look back at the relatively recent history of early posts on this forum (from people like you Len) on discussing id's and what might survive in the various climates.  Clearly it is the faster growing species that can survive in the most diverse climates that make it into wide distribution, while the slower and more finicky species will probably remain the domain of the crazy folks like us on this forum.  I agree that there is a reward to growing something from a small size or seed, or experimenting with something that hasn't been tried yet or isn't in wide distribution... that is pioneering.  We are lucky for the people that collected seed or plants and experimented before us as well as those that continue to do so or make the unusual available for us like Floribunda.

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Billeb

I feel like a healthy 5G is the way to go. Cheap to buy, small hole to dig, gives it a chance to grow some substantial root system in your native soil, get to watch it grow into an adult, etc.

The trick is buying a true 5G plant with roots coming from the bottom of the pot, not a 1G plant in a 5G pot. 
We are so lucky here in SoCal to have all the great growers to choose from. Between the above mentioned…we can find just about anything that will grow in our microclimate. And that’s a pretty big list. 
 

-dale

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Palmfarmer

I like those teddybear palms. Reminds me sort of a majesty when small. Sorry to Hijack the thread partially I have been able to source a Parajubea, However seems horribly overpriced. its a 40cm tall palm overall for around 150 usd. What is a fair price for parajubea?

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idesign123
2 hours ago, Billeb said:

I feel like a healthy 5G is the way to go.

Here's the problem... Many homeowners had the "Home Depot Tropical Special" collection of palms in their original landscaping. Then there came a time where one (or ALL) of their mature trees had to come down. Doesn't matter why - maybe the tree(s) died, or the homeowner just discovered there are better options out there, or they just wanted a "clean slate" for a yard redesign. On my property we took down 8 Queen Palms and 15 frickin' Mexican Fan Palms (5 triples)! So now what? Fill all of those spots with tiny 5 gallon plants?

Knowing what I know now, my answer might actually be YES! But for most homeowners that would be a tough sell. No one wants to have the lamest-looking house on the block (at least for the first 5-10 years)... and a yard full of ONLY baby palms would be a little sad. Thus the desperation of people searching for larger specimens. :o

Ultimately, a homeowner in this situation has three choices:
1) Yard full of baby palms 
2) Buy a few "crap" palms from HD, with a plan to "edit" them out later (when the baby ones grow up a bit)
3) Search high and low for a few mature "specimen" palms (and pay a pretty penny for them), to make your yard look presentable while the baby ones grow up.

For me, option #3 seemed like the best route. But that of course only applies to someone in a situation where they're wiping out their ENTIRE landscaping at once. Now that I have a few key palms in place, I'm of a much different mindset, and would only be interested in small plants (1g-7g... possibly 15g). In other words, the level of desperation depends partially on whether the buyer has other "big" plants in their yard yet. For those with ZERO big palms, my recommendation would be to go with either option #2 or #3  above. But just buy a few big ones! Buy younger healthier plants for the rest (for the many reasons the experts gave on this thread).

Not arguing whatsoever!!! (I'm totally on the "start young" train, as evidenced by my dozens of baby palms in pots) - Just pointing out that someone starting a yard "from scratch" might be happier if they have a few larger plants to tide them over for the first few years (even if they might wish they hadn't later). There's a lot of psychology to consider, and it's pretty hard to tell your "today" brain that it has to wait years before getting any nice-looking palms. :mellow:

Edited by idesign123

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Tracy
1 hour ago, Palmfarmer said:

I like those teddybear palms. Reminds me sort of a majesty when small

Among the solitary Dypsis species, D leptocheilos is one of the fastest in my experience.  Photo of a 15 gallon shortly after planting in February 2017 (I was able to get one locally probably because they are fast) and now, so 4 1/2 years growth.  I'm purposefully excluding clumping species, because Dypsis pembana gets tall fast once it gets close to trunking size.  Am I missing a faster solitary Dypsis species besides D decaryii and hybrids thereof?  This ties back into the thread's focus of large species availability as both D decaryii and leptocheilos are pretty available in bigger sizes.

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Silas_Sancona
9 minutes ago, idesign123 said:

Here's the problem... Many homeowners had the "Home Depot Tropical Special" collection of palms in their original landscaping. Then there came a time where one (or ALL) of their mature trees had to come down. Doesn't matter why - maybe the tree(s) died, or the homeowner just discovered there are better options out there, or they just wanted a "clean slate" for a yard redesign. On my property we took down 8 Queen Palms and 15 frickin' Mexican Fan Palms (5 triples)! So now what? Fill all of those spots with tiny 5 gallon plants?

Knowing what I know now, my answer might actually be YES! But for most homeowners that would be a tough sell. No one wants to have the lamest-looking house on the block (at least for the first 5-10 years)... and a yard full of ONLY baby palms would be a little sad. Thus the desperation of people searching for larger specimens. :o

Ultimately, a homeowner in this situation has three choices:
1) Yard full of baby palms 
2) Buy a few "crap" palms from HD, with a plan to "edit" them out later (when the baby ones grow up a bit)
3) Search high and low for a few mature "specimen" palms (and pay a pretty penny for them), to make your yard look presentable while the baby ones grow up.

For me, option #3 seemed like the best route. But that of course only applies to someone in a situation where they're wiping out their ENTIRE landscaping at once. Now that I have a few key palms in place, I'm of a much different mindset, and would only be interested in small plants (1g-7g... possibly 15g). In other words, the level of desperation depends partially on whether the buyer has other "big" plants in their yard yet. For those with ZERO big palms, my recommendation would be to go with either option #2 or #3  above. But just buy a few big ones! Buy younger healthier plants for the rest (for the many reasons the experts gave on this thread).

Not arguing whatsoever!!! (I'm totally on the "start young" train, as evidenced by my dozens of baby palms in pots) - Just pointing out that someone starting a yard "from scratch" might need a few bigger plants to tide them over for the first few years. :mellow:

No argument either, but, to each their own.. Nothing " sad " or " lame " about starting off small.. Better on the wallet, and the back / rest of the body.. More satisfying too.   If someone is  more worried about what a neighbor / various neighbors might think about having to look at a yard full of small palms / trees, etc ~ to start off with ~ on the block ( Heaven forbid such an atrocity, haha ),  they have much bigger baggage ( maybe the same baggage they obsessed over in High School ) that needs to unpacked and put away before even attempting to criticize the small stuff in my yard, ..or anyone else's. Their hang up(s) are what would be sad / lame, lol..

I'll take option #1, every time ( don't think i'd consider a 15 or 24gal palm a baby )  ...and  going out and collecting what i can find,   then sit back ~ patiently ~ and enjoy watching it all mature into  my  vision.  ..No stress, no worries, so sitting there obsessing about how much time is spent ..just enjoyment :)



 

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Looking Glass
3 hours ago, idesign123 said:

Knowing what I know now, my answer might actually be YES! But for most homeowners that would be a tough sell. No one wants to have the lamest-looking house on the block (at least for the first 5-10 years)... and a yard full of ONLY baby palms would be a little sad. . :mellow:


Well…..   then I’m screwed….

0FA3C78C-85B7-4081-B318-472807061C29.thumb.jpeg.74dd0d5742976c3ee4e5e3e16a711c20.jpeg

I’m pretty sure the neighbors think I’m crazy and worse..  Tearing up that beautiful lawn to put a whole bunch of tiny palms that all look the same to them, when I could probably get a nice Christmas or Queen Palm or two from HomeDepot for pretty cheap.  

But…. I’ve never worried too much about what people generally worry about…

And I’ll have the last laugh in a few years.
 

Plus, I hate digging big holes   

 

Edited by Looking Glass
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Billeb
2 hours ago, idesign123 said:


 No one wants to have the lamest-looking house on the block (at least for the first 5-10 years)... and a yard full of ONLY baby palms would be a little sad. Thus the desperation of people searching for larger specimens. :o

 

For me, option #3 seemed like the best route……

The instant gratification with palms is a challenging thing to get past. It’s true obviously, everyone wishes their yard was the best in the block. I have a sneaky feeling there’s a lot of people on these pages that currently do or will in time. 
 

I also picked option #3. Mainly because a place like BlueBell will get you a really nice sized non HD variety 20Gal for a damn good price. Bought a few of those and the rest were 3’s, 5’s and a couple 15’s. I’m a big proponent of gardens that have a lot of palms but at different heights. I’m not afraid to plant things close together as long as in 5…10 years, they will be at different heights. Gives the garden topography. I think we’ve all seen the yards that have 5 or even 10 Archontophoenix that are 10yrs old and roughly the same size. No bueno in my book. 
 

-dale

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96720

I agree wholeheartedly with @Billebsmall is the way to go the only big ones I have planted are hybrids that I couldn’t find in anything less than a 15 gal. So I have planted a few of those and I keep planting more palms all the time so I have different heights and when you’re digging in between established palms you really want to go small makes the digging all the harder with all those roots!!

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LJG
15 hours ago, idesign123 said:

Oh yes, I've learned TON from reading your blog! (croton propagation tips for one). Thank you so much for sharing your experience & insights with us newbies! And yes, I'm indeed hoping my licualas might look as amazing as yours someday... but will try to enjoy the journey. (and not buy anymore large but scrawny palms)... wise advice. I do enjoy the few "instant gratification" palms I've bought, but suspect that (like you) my favorites will be the ones I grew myself.

* I would absolutely love to visit your garden sometime! I've studied pictures and find it very inspiring. If you're ever having a "palm/bromeliad/hibiscus/whatever" open house and could PM me an invite I would be very honored to come by (and would be happy to bring a nice bromeliad pup as an offering).

Well, dang, I lied. I was going over in my head and I do have 5 Foxy lady’s, a Royal and a Syagrus amara still that were planted from pots when they already had trunk. One thing to make clear for me from my post, I’m not planting seed or Marcus plants right into my garden. I grow them up to 5-7 gallon plants outside or in my greenhouse. 

PM me, you and any guest can come visit anytime. 

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sonoranfans
11 hours ago, idesign123 said:

Here's the problem... Many homeowners had the "Home Depot Tropical Special" collection of palms in their original landscaping. Then there came a time where one (or ALL) of their mature trees had to come down. Doesn't matter why - maybe the tree(s) died, or the homeowner just discovered there are better options out there, or they just wanted a "clean slate" for a yard redesign. On my property we took down 8 Queen Palms and 15 frickin' Mexican Fan Palms (5 triples)! So now what? Fill all of those spots with tiny 5 gallon plants?

Knowing what I know now, my answer might actually be YES! But for most homeowners that would be a tough sell. No one wants to have the lamest-looking house on the block (at least for the first 5-10 years)... and a yard full of ONLY baby palms would be a little sad. Thus the desperation of people searching for larger specimens. :o

Ultimately, a homeowner in this situation has three choices:
1) Yard full of baby palms 
2) Buy a few "crap" palms from HD, with a plan to "edit" them out later (when the baby ones grow up a bit)
3) Search high and low for a few mature "specimen" palms (and pay a pretty penny for them), to make your yard look presentable while the baby ones grow up.

For me, option #3 seemed like the best route. But that of course only applies to someone in a situation where they're wiping out their ENTIRE landscaping at once. Now that I have a few key palms in place, I'm of a much different mindset, and would only be interested in small plants (1g-7g... possibly 15g). In other words, the level of desperation depends partially on whether the buyer has other "big" plants in their yard yet. For those with ZERO big palms, my recommendation would be to go with either option #2 or #3  above. But just buy a few big ones! Buy younger healthier plants for the rest (for the many reasons the experts gave on this thread).

Not arguing whatsoever!!! (I'm totally on the "start young" train, as evidenced by my dozens of baby palms in pots) - Just pointing out that someone starting a yard "from scratch" might be happier if they have a few larger plants to tide them over for the first few years (even if they might wish they hadn't later). There's a lot of psychology to consider, and it's pretty hard to tell your "today" brain that it has to wait years before getting any nice-looking palms. :mellow:

I also did option #3 ten years ago.  I wanted some verticality in the canopy heights.  I bought a bunch of small palms with an empty yard(new house).  I was impatient and added 2 royals with 3-4' trunk for some height.  Then I also bought a few specimen palms from Ken Johnson, but they were slower growing palms or cold sensitive ones that I felt needed to get the grow points up off the ground.  Today these are some of my biggest palms at 25' and up.  But I have 8 palms from Ken, and 60+ in my yard all the rest(aside the royals) were planted as small 5-7 gallon palms.  10 years later I am very happy to have those smaller palms as they make up most of the landscape and the specimen palms have mostly gotten so tall you have to be further away to view them.  Mixing heights is great, you don't want to have everything one size.  Some palms grow very fast and in florida 10 years can take a small  3-5 gallon seedling to as tall as 30-35' depending on the species.  If you want some specimen palms, I highly recommend Ken Johnson, he is a pro, every palm I have received from him is thriving today and his advice has been very valuable.  One caveat, planting 5 gallon palms is probably not productive if you are not staying in the house long term. In that case, larger specimens make more sense.  But in 5-7 years you will be looking up at those palms you planted as a 5 gallon size.

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idesign123
11 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

If someone is  more worried about what a neighbor / various neighbors might think about having to look at a yard full of small palms / trees, etc ~ to start off with ~ on the block ( Heaven forbid such an atrocity, haha ),  they have much bigger baggage ( maybe the same baggage they obsessed over in High School ) that needs to unpacked and put away before even attempting to criticize the small stuff in my yard, ..or anyone else's. Their hang up(s) are what would be sad / lame, lol..

Ouch! In my defense I actually couldn't care less what the neighbors think (other than avoiding getting reported to the HOA board). If I did, I wouldn't have erected this monstrosity as a temporary structure in front of my house (to give shade to a recently planted Veichia that was showing some sun stress after planting). I have indeed gotten quite a few questions about it (with a relieved look when I assure them it's a temporary thing). My neighbors already think I'm weird... and I'm OK with that.

shade.thumb.jpg.c6eb6db24e97b9eda4376330c0ed1b76.jpg

For me, it's more an issue of the fact that I'm putting a TON of effort into my yard redesign, and for my own mental health I need to have at least a FEW "larger" palms to look at. And by larger I mean a *little* larger (the Queen in the background is a neighbor's).

As @sonoranfans and @Billeb pointed out, it's also a cosmetic issue of wanting plants at a variety of sizes. Now that I'm more educated, I could probably create a plan where I buy ONLY baby palms, yet they would create an amazing, layered design once fully grown out. But it would be ideal to have at least a *little* layering in the short term.

Knowing what I know now (and after reading the wise advice here from those further along their journey), this is what I would tell myself were I to start this whole project again...

----

1) Before you remove EVERY large plant in your yard, consider the fact that exotic plants are rarely available in large sizes. Perhaps you may want to consider keeping a FEW of your larger plants temporarily, if you don't want the "yard with only baby palms" look. In other words, view your yard redesign as a multi-year project... not a massive short-term effort.

2) Another option if you want to have palms at different sizes (but hate ALL of your current plants) would be to buy a few of the faster-growing species, and get them at the largest size you can WITHOUT compromising plant health.  Avoid the temptation to buy taller but root bound plants!

3) Purchase your "baby palm" collection as soon as you can, and make sure to buy your FAVORITE palms at a small size (from a reputable seller)... so they'll grow into the amazing specimens you're hoping they'll be someday.

----

A bit too late for me, but perhaps all the advice shared in this thread might help someone in the future (i.e., the next guy who comes onto the forum asking where they can get a boxed specimen of _______ (exotic palm).  Thank you everyone for helping me figure it out in my own mind as well.

Now back to nursing my dozens of pots of future awesomeness!

Edited by idesign123
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Missi
12 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

No argument either, but, to each their own.. Nothing " sad " or " lame " about starting off small.. Better on the wallet, and the back / rest of the body.. More satisfying too.   If someone is  more worried about what a neighbor / various neighbors might think about having to look at a yard full of small palms / trees, etc ~ to start off with ~ on the block ( Heaven forbid such an atrocity, haha ),  they have much bigger baggage ( maybe the same baggage they obsessed over in High School ) that needs to unpacked and put away before even attempting to criticize the small stuff in my yard, ..or anyone else's. Their hang up(s) are what would be sad / lame, lol..

I'll take option #1, every time ( don't think i'd consider a 15 or 24gal palm a baby )  ...and  going out and collecting what i can find,   then sit back ~ patiently ~ and enjoy watching it all mature into  my  vision.  ..No stress, no worries, so sitting there obsessing about how much time is spent ..just enjoyment :)



 

This. This. THIS!!!

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idesign123
30 minutes ago, Missi said:

This. This. THIS!!!

Double ouch :crying:

So sorry to anyone I offended with that statement!!! To be very clear...
- I couldn't care less what someone else thinks about my yard (other than staying out of HOA focus).
- I also don't care what anyone else does with their yard (I actually love it when a neighbor tries something different - you do you!).
- As a graphic designer by profession, I've found that I have a strong preference for "layering" in my yard.
- I have also found that for my OWN mental health I need a tiny bit of "instant gratification" for my yard efforts. If the larger plants I've bought to date aren't as nice as the baby ones I'm growing, I'll "edit" them out at some point... they make me happy now, and that's worth something (to me).
- I've more recently come to love the process of raising baby palms, and am indeed now on board with the "start young" philosophy (as evidenced by my fleet of tiny palms).
- I'll make sure to only buy my favorite palms at small sizes going forward.

Am I out of the dog house yet? I made this thread to help clarify (to myself) the psychology of what I've been going through, and have really enjoyed hearing perspectives from others on the journey. If you find any part of my current psychology is flawed I welcome correction (I'm still figuring this stuff out)... but please try to be nice!

* I'm relatively new here, and have felt very welcomed to date. I'm indeed still educating myself, but with my graphic design background I also feel I can be a helpful member to others in the forum (by suggesting cosmetic ideas for plant groupings for example). Please be gentle when I say something stupid/naive, as I love it here, and to date have been excited to be part of such a friendly & helpful "club". :(

Edited by idesign123
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sonoranfans

I had one neighbor 2 houses down on the opposite side of the street complain repeatedly over the years that my yard was overgrown and unkempt and this person wanted everything "florida native".  I planted out my first(and the first in the development) bismarckia in 2010, today its 30' tall and fruits prolifically, ~ 150-200 lb a year.  After seeing mine, I now see a dozen others 11 years later, some are fruiting as well.  Needless to say some like it and some do not.  Most of the yards on my street are grass and bermudagrass needs sun so they don't have many trees.  Mine is different, its loaded with mature palms, and if they don't like it too bad.  

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Silas_Sancona
4 hours ago, LJG said:

Well, dang, I lied. I was going over in my head and I do have 5 Foxy lady’s, a Royal and a Syagrus amara still that were planted from pots when they already had trunk. One thing to make clear for me from my post, I’m not planting seed or Marcus plants right into my garden. I grow them up to 5-7 gallon plants outside or in my greenhouse. 

PM me, you and any guest can come visit anytime. 

I knew someone was hogging all the Foxy ladies, haha.. :D   The highlighted part is perfect.. Palms or otherwise, follow the same plan w/ most things, esp. anything uncommon / hard to find..  Give the newborns a couple years to reach plant out size, then turn 'em loose..

1 hour ago, idesign123 said:

Ouch! In my defense I actually couldn't care less what the neighbors think (other than avoiding getting reported to the HOA board). If I did, I wouldn't have erected this monstrosity as a temporary structure in front of my house (to give shade to a recently planted Veichia that was showing some sun stress after planting). I have indeed gotten quite a few questions about it (with a relieved look when I assure them it's a temporary thing). My neighbors already think I'm weird... and I'm OK with that.

shade.thumb.jpg.c6eb6db24e97b9eda4376330c0ed1b76.jpg

For me, it's more an issue of the fact that I'm putting a TON of effort into my yard redesign, and for my own mental health I need to have at least a FEW "larger" palms to look at. And by larger I mean a *little* larger (the Queen in the background is a neighbor's).

As @sonoranfans and @Billeb pointed out, it's also a cosmetic issue of wanting plants at a variety of sizes. Now that I'm more educated, I could probably create a plan where I buy ONLY baby palms, yet they would create an amazing, layered design once fully grown out. But it would be ideal to have at least a *little* layering in the short term.

Knowing what I know now (and after reading the wise advice here from those further along their journey), this is what I would tell myself were I to start this whole project again...

----

1) Before you remove EVERY large plant in your yard, consider the fact that exotic plants are rarely available in large sizes. Perhaps you may want to consider keeping a FEW of your larger plants temporarily, if you don't want the "yard with only baby palms" look. In other words, view your yard redesign as a multi-year project... not a massive short-term effort.

2) Another option if you want to have palms at different sizes (but hate ALL of your current plants) would be to buy a few of the faster-growing species, and get them at the largest size you can WITHOUT compromising plant health.  Avoid the temptation to buy taller but root bound plants!

3) Purchase your "baby palm" collection as soon as you can, and make sure to buy your FAVORITE palms at a small size (from a reputable seller)... so they'll grow into the amazing specimens you're hoping they'll be someday.

----

A bit too late for me, but perhaps all the advice shared in this thread might help someone in the future (i.e., the next guy who comes onto the forum asking where they can get a boxed specimen of _______ (exotic palm).  Thank you everyone for helping me figure it out in my own mind as well.

Now back to nursing my dozens of pots of future awesomeness!

Ouch, yes, ..but honest.. and not directed personally..  Having worked in the Nursery business for years, ( in several states ) ..would encounter this irritating hangup ..Clients being more concerned about what their neighbors might think / trying to out do them.. Then haggling over the price of the big things they'd choose, ..or what else would be involved in getting them installed/ what is required to maintain them as they settle in ( if they do )  just to satisfy what someone else might think. 

There comes a point when dealing w/ such a mind set gets old ( and annoying ) when there is plenty of information explaining why going the biggest route often isn't the best value/ waste of money.  The worst are people who are exceedingly impatient.. All i can think when trying to work with someone like this is " Where did they learn this "  That or i'd call upon another co worker who can tolerate that personality type a little better than me..

As Len had explained, i also wouldn't plant out all  1 or 3 gal sized things in my yard.. preferring to grow many to a bigger, more ' able to take on the elements a bit better ' size.. That said, some things do grow best / won't suffer nearly as much transplanting challenges when started tiny though. Would never sell anything bigger than a 24gal either.  Want what i offer to be relatively easy to transport / install, and affordable for everyone. Also don't want to sit on a lot of stuff for years at a time ( big waste of money too, imho )

Agree, no matter what you're starting off with, avoid anything that looks excessively root bound.. Palms are a bit different in that regard ( many seem like they can tolerate growing in a container a bit longer than most other things.. esp. most trees ), but can suffer the same issues when installed super root bound.

As far as starting from scratch?.. if whatever sized piece of property i end up with has any Queens, Mex. fans ..and / or Canaries  they will be beheaded w/ the trunks left for hole nesting birds, ..or taken out completely.. Clean slate means clean slate.  ( Give me a bobcat and 1+ acres, and you won't see me for awhile, lol )

That Veitchia needs a friend ( or two ):drool:

14 minutes ago, Missi said:

This. This. THIS!!! I cringed when I read that part of her post :bemused:

I  did as well, but don't see this as a personal  thought ..of how she might look at another's landscape,  ..is more a reflection of how some people with this sort of mindset, might view things for the purpose of discussion.

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Looking Glass

Lol!  I think this is a great thread.  Where’s the fun without a little drama.  

My neighbors stop by and politely say, “Hey, things are looking good.”  And I say back, “It looks terrible!… and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.”  Then I explain it will take a few years, but it will all come together with some time.  They laugh nervously.  Ha, ha.  What do I care?  They know I take care of the place though.  I’m out there every day working on something.  

You can drive around here from neighborhood to neighborhood, and see what a little time does.  There are some places with crazy, mature landscapes, in-between areas, and sand lots and new lawns only.  

When I look at a plant, I literally see it in the future.  Like the skinny kid who just started lifting weights, looking in the mirror, seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger staring back.   

I got this T. Radiata a few months back. It was shade grown stretched, wobbly-loose in it’s pot, and falling over.  I cut every leaf off but one.  I repotted it straight, fertilized it, and stuck it in the sun.  When it grew a new leaf, I cut the old one off.  Now here we are, a few months later.  Happy as a clam.  Every day it gets closer to 20 feet tall.   5A4B9A69-2BCA-4113-B794-8E138F8E94DC.thumb.jpeg.28d2f937a498c1c8441179a9d714155f.jpeg


So in the meantime, get a crane and put in a 49 foot tall Royal, or stick your finger in the ground and plunge in a 1-strap seedling.  There are many roads to Dublin. 

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aztropic
2 hours ago, idesign123 said:

 I've found that I have a strong preference for "layering" in my yard.

Me too! :lol2:

 

aztropic

Mesa, Arizona

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